Letter: Sabotage plan for angry dons

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The Independent Online
Sir: The media have been absorbed with the rows over salaries for airline pilots and MPs. Could you find a column inch or two to address academics' salaries?

After protracted negotiations university lecturers have been made a final offer of 1.5 per cent. None of us can remember when we last received a pay rise that matched inflation.

I suggest that from next autumn we simply take every application form for a place at a British university and put it through the office shredder, or at least lock it away in a safe place until after the next general election. Schools, applicants and their parents might then at least become aware that there is a problem. Some of those parents might well be senior civil servants and politicians.

It is very important that we do not hurt our present students. I suggest we award all of them first-class degrees next year. The students won't complain, but it might create problems for prospective employers - business, the Civil Service, the media. As none of these bodies care about us, why should we care about them?

Now, it might be that we will be deemed to be breaking the law - so I suggest that all academics be put in boot camps: we will benefit from the physical exercise and the mental relaxation. And who will staff the universities during our absence? Draft in the military! The entertainment value of the ensuing scenes will boost the nation's morale no end.

Dr ROBERT PORTER

Department of Russian Studies

Bristol University

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